Got this to see if tracking shots could be done with very high quality with minimal expense. Simple answer: Heck Yeah!
The skate itself is quite heavy and very well made. The arms adjusting wheel direction are just about the right stiffness so you can get them pointed the right direction, but they will stay in place when you don't want them to move.
The wheels roll very easily and are smooth. Be careful, it's easy to set your camera down somewhere where it will happily roll away into a street or off a table. No, the wheels don't lock.
The limitation of the dolly's ability to look professional is how flat a surface you are rolling it on. Carpet isn't flat enough and the pic bounces a bit even with image stabilization on in the lens. I have a 2x10 which is 10 feet long which was lying around and works extremely well. So do tables, desks or even a polished floor as long as you avoid any cracks.
I am still undecided as to whether it's better to push the cart or the camera with my hand. I am also of the mind that pulling it with a bit of string might be better, but haven't tried that. It already looks great with just pushing and pulling, but I know with some practice my technique will no longer be the limiting factor.
My testing was done with a Canon 60D body with either the EF-S 15-85mm or various primes. I also tried it with an iPhone 5 which worked great. The heaviest configuration I tried weighed about 3.5 lbs plus the weight of the cart and arm. Weight of the camera didn't seem to make much difference in the stability of the shots although I would recommend leaving any image stabilization on inside the camera if you have it. I also used Premiere Pro's image stabilization with great success which cleaned up the last tiny jitters for buttery smooth shots.
I also got the 7" arm which Monoprice sells as an accessory. Given the cheap price of the skate the arm seemed pricy until I got it and realized how it worked. The single clamp on the middle joint tightens not only the joint, but both of the ball heads at either end of the arm. So it's effortless to set even a heavy camera into any position and lock it down with one turn. It also allows counterbalancing the weight of a lens so the skate doesn't fall over which a normal ball head won't do. Get the arm!
Overall, the unit works very well. It allows for shots I could never get and was very inexpensive for it's capability. Well done, Monoprice! Highly Recommended!
PROS: Well Made. Heavy. Smooth Rolling. Allows expensive tracking shots which look fantastic and are dirt cheap to shoot.
CONS: Reveals just how shaky your body is even pushing a little cart )
Requires a ball head or some other way of attaching camera and skate together so you can aim the camera.
Just shot some footage with this dolly and I gotta say, the quality of my videos is going way up! I had no idea how much this little thing would add to my music videos. If interested seach "Kemo Treats - Fightin' On The Strip" on Youtube to see examples. The video won't be up until July or Aug 2014. The footage in the kitchen was shot using this skate dollly and the 11" arm and it looks great!
PROS: Smooth rolling
CONS: No manual. There are some little parts that come with it and I'm not quite sure how it's all supposed to work together. That said, we made it work with my GoPro with a tripod mount.
I haven't had a chance to use this on a shoot yet, but I played around a little. I can see lots of cool things to do with this, and I'm looking forward to trying it out for real. The only thing I wish it had was some method to keep it from rolling awaysome kind of a braking system or a kickstand.
This is an excellent tool for doing small moves in a straight line or on the circumference of a circle. I don't know how they can sell this item so inexpensively. It is made from machined, anodized aluminum with ball-bearing rubber skate wheels. I think it's great!
I recently purchased the camera skate dolly and I am very pleased so far. It is well built and works very well on many surfaces. It is a little smaller than I thought it would be and I had to add a shoe mount in order to fit my 7D onto it but I really like how that all came together.